Barnet looked set to secure a first home win since January 2 thanks to Ryan Watson’s fortuitous free-kick before Liam Shephard scored his first ever goal in stoppage time.
It meant Kevin Nugent remained without a win as Barnet first team coach and the Bees have conceded late goals in three of their last six games.
But what did we learn from another difficult evening for the team?
The playoffs are out of reach
If they weren’t before, the playoffs are now beyond the aspirations of all but the most optimistic Barnet fans.
The Bees are, with nine games remaining, nine points and crucially seven places off the playoff spots. At this stage in the season, those teams sandwiched between you and your target are as important as the points difference and overtaking all of them will take a biblical turnaround in form.
Even if Barnet had not concede Shephard’s late equaliser, they still would have been in 14th place, suggesting that this result merely confirmed the futility of the chase.
Kevin Nugent has an impossible task
Having previously held the post of caretaker manager a number of times, Nugent is not unused to dealing with squads that aren’t of his own making and find themselves in the middle of some turbulence.
However, this is his first top job and he will soon be in unknown territory – his previous longest spell in charge was seven games.
The Barnet job came to him in the oddest of circumstances with Martin Allen’s departure with the club going well, a mixed period under Rossi Eames and Henry Newman, the latter’s departure and his own appointment after watching a 1-0 win over Morecambe from the stands.
He then had to find his feet quickly with a squad of players who were still relatively unfamiliar with each other and whom he did not know, while the club had lofty expectations of a finish in the playoffs – ambitious given their size and resources.
I understand the players enjoy working with Nugent and he is a popular figure so far but results will always be the final reckoning of a manager, and they have yet to follow.
To be a fly on the Barnet dressing room wall…
Yeovil boss Darren Way said he could hear Michael Nelson “going crazy” in the home dressing room after the final whistle. I don’t imagine his was the only raised voice – Elliott Johnson was pulled in from his warm-down to ensure he heard what had to be said.
I don’t always believe in immediate post-match recriminations, when the blood and sweat of the recent game can cloud the analysis of the mistakes made.
But this Barnet side do look to lack a certain something. There are pockets of the pitch where they seem to be willing to compete but the extra mile is not always being run.
There was a moment when an attack involving John Akinde, Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Simeon Akinola broke down and all three watched as Yeovil broke away. Tom Champion was left screaming in midfield as he found himself swamped by green-and-white shirts.
Those three are not the lone or even the most guilty parties but you only had to look at social media to see what the fans though of the commitment levels of the team as a whole.
David Tutonda is keen for a game!
Since signing from Cardiff as cover across the back four, Tutonda has not been seen much in black and amber.
However, after Elliott Johnson’s blunder cost Barnet at the weekend, he was given a start at left-back and was Barnet’s best player for most of the game – Nugent’s switch to three at the back could well have been motivated by a desire to give him even more freedom and he relished the role, getting forward and perhaps being unlucky not to win a second-half penalty.
I don’t pretend to have seen a lot of Amaluzor play – not many really can – but the brief glimpses show at best some unharnessed talent.
He came off the bench for Campbell-Ryce in the late stages but had a very poor game. He ran down dark alleys, left the bar behind and gave it away. Without the ball, he wasn’t much better. At one point, he incurred the wrath of both Nugent and Rossi Eames.
I won’t repeat the exact words of the gaffer but they were not remotely complimentary.
“Must do better” might be a generously optimistic summary of his performance.